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SEMINAR PANELS

cognitive + social | informal + formal environments | designs to enhance learning | funding + policy


The seminar will comprise four panels: (1) media multitasking and cognitive development; (2) media multitasking and learning in informal and formal environments; (3) media multitasking and designs to enhance learning; and (4) funding and policy. Participants and questions assigned to each panel are listed below. You may read more about our panelists on the participants page.

 

Panel 1: Cognitive and Social Effects of Media Multitasking

Panelists

  1. Panel Chair: Patricia Greenfield, University of California, Los Angeles
  2. Daniel Anderson, University of Massachusetts
  3. Lori Bergen, Marquette University
  4. Stephanie Carlson, University of Minnesota
  5. Matt Dye, University of Rochester
  6. Karin Foerde, Columbia University
  7. Ulrich Mayr, University of Oregon
  8. Cliff Nass, Stanford University
  9. Priti Shah, University of Michigan
  10. Anthony Wagner, Stanford University


Questions

  • We know far too little about the cognitive and developmental sequelae of multitasking for children. Under what conditions does divided attention threaten learning and development? And can rapid task switching or other ways of dividing attention for younger children result in positive results for some cognitive tasks versus others?
  • What are the most useful measures of multitasking for addressing cognitive issues?
  • How might growing up in a media-saturated environment that elicits habitual active and reactive attention switching affect children’s information processing skills?
  • Do kids who engage in heavy media multitasking develop different abilities in attention, working memory and cognitive control?
  • How does media multitasking affect focus and concentration?
  • Why do children growing up in media saturated environments tend to learn and engage in multitasking faster and more frequently than their parents and grandparents?
  • How might multitasking influence the mechanisms of perception and an individual’s worldview?

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Panel 2: Multitasking in Informal and Formal Learning Environments

Panelists

  1. Panel Chair: Donald Roberts, Stanford University
  2. Marilyn Jager Adams, Brown University
  3. Sandra Calvert, Georgetown University
  4. Ulla Foehr
  5. Glenda Revelle, Sesame Workshop
  6. Kaveri Subrahmanyam, California State University, Los Angeles
  7. Ellen Wartella, University of California, Riverside


Questions:

  • If multitasking engages a different form of memory, under which circumstances and in which settings might multitasking have positive and negative effects on learning?
  • How does the nature of the task interact with individual differences to influence how multitasking influences learning?
  • How might increased interactivity, choice, and control afforded in multitasking situations enhance engagement and sustain attention?
  • What are the most useful measures of multitasking for formal and informal environments?
  • How does access to a larger social network of resources through media multitasking influence learning? And is it more functional at certain stages of development?
  • Drawing on a “benefits-costs” analysis of media multitasking, what types of learning tasks are unaffected, enhanced, or adversely affected by media multitasking?

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Panel 3: Designing Eductional Tools that Leverage Media Multitasking and Multitaskers

Panelists

  1. Panel Chair: Roy Pea, Stanford University
  2. Tico Ballagas, Nokia
  3. Richard Beckwith, Intel
  4. Milton Chen, Edutopia
  5. Dennis Frezzo, Cisco Systems
  6. Jim Gray, LeapFrog
  7. Byron Reeves, Stanford University
  8. Coe Leta Stafford, IDEO


Questions:

  • Given the cognitive strain involved in media multitasking, how can media be designed and integrated to lessen this load?
  • What tools and strategies can help youth to manage information overload?
  • How can the socially normative behavior associated with media multitasking be leveraged to enhance specific learning goals?
  • What types of activities or design principles promote the skills of focus and sustained attention?
  • How can such principles or activities be integrated with learning goals in learning environments?
  • How can we better understand the conditions under which media multitasking strains social relationships?
  • How might multitasking abilities transfer to different tasks and even provide preparation for entry into the workforce?
  • How might media interactivity and active versus passive media use relate to automatic an controlled processing?

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Panel 4: Building a Research Agenda: Funding & Policy Discussion

Panelists

  1. Panel Chair: Michael Levine, Sesame Workshop
  2. Barbara Chow, Hewlett Foundation
  3. Rebecca Randall, Common Sense Media
  4. Susan Schilling, New Technology Foundation
  5. Bernie Trilling, Oracle Education Foundation


Questions:

  • Which research agencies and/or other national entities (e.g., National Academy of Sciences) should take the lead in synthesizing what we know from current efforts and in defining new priorities for research on media multitasking?
  • How should new frontiers of research and multidisciplinary collaboration be encouraged by research agencies? Are there useful models or mechanisms that have been established in other fields to be considered?
  • How might "breakthrough" models that deploy multimedia assets to effectively address educational problems be advanced by public and private funders?
  • What is the specific role of philanthropy in better understanding the media multitasking phenomenon and its impact on children? Are there research, practice and/or policy issues that private philanthropy is in best position to consider and support?

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